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Agilyx and Toyo Styrene Partner on Chemical Recycling Plant in JapanAgilyx and Toyo Styrene Partner on Chemical Recycling Plant in Japan

The two companies will use chemical recycling to help build a circular economy for polystyrene in Asia.

January 12, 2022

1 Min Read
plastic resins form chasing arrows recycling symbol
Image: Alamy/Lea Rae

Agilyx and Toyo Styrene Co. have started construction on a chemical recycling plant in Japan. The facility ultimately will have the capacity to recycle 10 tons of post-use polystyrene per day.

With operations in Oregon and Switzerland, Agilyx specializes in processing difficult-to-recycle plastics. Toyo Styrene is a Tokyo-based polystyrene resin manufacturer.

The new Japanese plant will rely on Agilyx’s molecular recycling technology, which uses pyrolysis without a catalyst. The facility will depolymerize post-consumer polystyrene waste, including take-out food boxes and other consumer goods packaging, and the resulting styrene monomer will be purified using a proprietary process developed by Toyo Styrene.

The virgin-quality styrene is suitable for manufacturing high-value polystyrene products such as food packaging and tires, which will have a much lower carbon footprint than similar products manufactured with virgin polymer.

“As the first step toward the circular economy, we will construct a chemical recycling plant for this project, collect post-industrial materials for the time being, and start a chemical recycling business,” said Sanshiro Matsushita, President of Toyo Styrene, in a prepared statement.

Matsushita added that “to build a carbon-free society through chemical recycling in Japan, we are also planning to participate in a platform that integrates citizens, businesses, and local government.” That initiative is occurring in Ichihara City, Chiba Prefecture, Japan.

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